SkySong Receives Prestigious Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Award

Awards program is Arizona’s signature sustainability recognition event for over 40 years

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 1, 2023) – SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is the proud recipient in the Art in Public Places category of Arizona Forward’s prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards, which took place on Saturday, April 29 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. 

The Art in Public Places award recognizes SkySong for the project’s many public art features that enhance the environment at SkySong and create a sense of place for tenants and visitors.

“SkySong has emerged as one of the most significant economic development projects in the region, and an important part of that is creating an experience for visitors, employees and residents that is unique and exceptional,” said Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies Sharon Harper.

Since its inception, the team behind SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center has embraced the concept of art in public places. There are several key elements of the project designed to enhance the visitor experience through public art, including:

  • SkySong’s iconic shade structure is one of the most significant pieces of public art in the City of Scottsdale. Rising more than 100 feet into the air, the shade structure unites the architectural elements of the five SkySong office buildings while creating a visually stunning and iconic presence at the project. 
  • Sunburst which was installed in 2020 approximately 20 feet above the ground just outside of SkySong 5, welcoming visitors to the project entering from Scottsdale Road onto SkySong Boulevard.
  • The 157-room Element Hotel Scottsdale at SkySong is home to BALANCED, JOURNEY, an exclusive larger-than-life art installation prominently located at the hotel’s garden entrance.
  • The newest building at SkySong, SkySong 5, boasts an impressive retro art piece in the lobby designed by Plaza Companies’ own Jonathan Stelzer. The playful, interactive installation is designed as a tribute to the early days of computers and technology.
  • 1951@SkySong is a special event venue at SkySong that also features a retro feel and a celebration of the evolution of technology. Featuring a variety of multimedia artwork and throwback memorabilia.
  • The central plaza of SkySong underneath the shade structure features two large murals that are designed to acknowledge the location of the property in the Southwest.

“The public art featured at SkySong is an important element of that experience and is at the heart of what makes SkySong unique,” said Don Couvillion, senior vice president of commercial development, with University Realty a partner with Plaza Companies – the master developer of SkySong. “This recognition is outstanding, and we are honored to receive this prestigious award.”

Companies located at SkySong have the opportunity to partner with Arizona State University, which has more than 100,000 students studying across four metropolitan Phoenix campuses, in Lake Havasu City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. ASU is one of the largest public universities in the nation, with the majority of its students attending its campus in Tempe, Arizona, less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit or follow developments on Facebook.

For images of SkySong:

About SkySong

Plaza Companies is the developer of the project in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies. Lee and Associates provides the brokerage services and Plaza del Rio Management Corporation provides the property management and construction services. Architects at SkySong include Pei Cobb Fried and Partners, DMJM Design, Butler Design Group and Kendle Design Collaborative.

About Plaza Companies

With offices in Peoria, Scottsdale and Tucson, Plaza Companies is a full-service real estate firm specializing in the management, leasing and development of medical office and commercial office properties, technology and bioscience facilities, mixed-use properties and senior housing communities. Since 1982, Plaza Companies has established a proud track record as a competitive, connected and conscientious real estate firm with partnerships throughout the industries it serves. For more information, visit

About University Realty

University Realty is a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners, a private, nonprofit organization that creates solutions and generates resources to extend Arizona State University’s reach and advance its charter. For more information, visit

About Arizona Forward and Environmental Excellence Awards

Arizona Forward’s mission is to bring business and civic leaders together to promote cooperative efforts to improve the environmental sustainability and the economic vitality of our state and local regions. Its prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards program has served as Arizona’s signature sustainability recognition event for over 40 years. Initiated in 1980, the Environmental Excellence Awards Program is a benchmark for economic and environmental accomplishment. Across Arizona, leaders and teams are taking their vision for a better Arizona and turning it into action. More than 500 esteemed members of the Arizona community attend our gala each year including elected dignitaries, public officials, business leaders, and academic institutions. For more information, visit

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